Theft can happen at any time—this is particularly true in the construction industry, where expensive tools and machinery are often left in plain sight or are easily accessible to criminals.
Construction site theft is especially damaging, as the theft of materials and tools can quickly delay a project, sometimes bringing production to a halt. It is essential for construction companies to understand how they can prevent job site theft before it happens.
General Tips. While every job site presents its own set of unique challenges, there are a number of general tips to better secure a construction site:
- Create a written security policy and job site security plan. These written plans should assign supervisory responsibilities, encourage awareness, and establish basic best practices for securing tools and materials.
- Contact nearby property owners and local law enforcement officials whenever you start a new project. These parties can help monitor your job site, particularly during off-hours.
- Establish a way for your employees to report theft or suspicious activity. Be sure to maintain complete records of any security incidents, as they can be beneficial to law enforcement in the event of theft, vandalism or similar occurrences.
- Conduct thorough background checks on your employees before hiring them on full time. You should also keep a list of people authorized to be on the job site on hand at all times.
Worksite Protections. Equipping your worksite with theft prevention features is mandatory if you expect to ward off potential criminals. Whenever possible, consider doing the following:
- Enclose your worksite with a security fence and provide limited access at all times. Use lockable gates whenever possible. Avoid using low-quality locks or leaving keys in the locks themselves.
- Ensure that your worksite is well-lit at night to deter criminals.
- Utilize signage to keep unauthorized personnel off your worksite.
- Walk around the worksite at the beginning and end of each day to ensure that no items are missing.
- Consider hiring security guards to patrol the construction site, particularly at night.
- If possible, install security cameras to safeguard your job site.
Controls for Equipment, Tools and Materials. The number of tools and machinery found on a construction site can vary heavily from day to day, making it difficult to keep track of valuables. That’s why the first step in any good protection program is to inventory the equipment you have.
An inventory should be made available for each job site and should accomplish the following:
- Inventories should track all newly purchased items. Copies of the inventory should be kept in a secure location.
- Inventories should be up to date and include photos of the larger, more important equipment.